The year that was 2014- From Coastal Andhra Pradesh to Thailand, Rajasthan and God’s Own Country
What a year it has been, starting with a wonderful trip to coastal Andhra Pradesh starting on 2nd of January, before it was bifurcated into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh giving India the 29th state. Suddenly there were so many new things to be discovered, new horizons to be covered and more miles to go. The visit to Machlipattnam in coastal AP was wonderful and I traveled with my friend and excellent photographer Ganesan P, one of his pictures clicked during the trip is appearing in an upcoming book by a prestigious museum in US about architecture of Deccan India. Way to go Ganesan.
Feb was spent exploring the city of Nizams from Golconda Fort to the surrounding lakes like Gandipet and Ameenpur.
In march I visited God’s Own Country as one of the participants of Kerala Blog Express and had a time of my life and met some of the best travel bloggers in the world.
Soon it was summer time and time to visit wildlife Sanctuaries and I visited Satpura National Park after winning a wildlife photography competition from Pugdundee Safaris and stayed at the Denwa Backwater Escape, that makes you realize the true meaning of Jungle main Mungle.
I also visited one state that I have been on my wish list for more than a decade – Odisha, though technically it was not my first visit to Odisha, I last visited for a very short duration when it was still called Orissa.
A short trip to Bijapur in Karnataka opened my eyes to the other Deccan Sultanates formed on splintering of the Bahmani Sultanate. You have read about Qutub Shahi Sultans here on desi Traveler and in Bijapur it was the reign of Adil Shai Sultans. Can you name the other 3 Deccan Sultanates? This picture you see below also appeared in my post on Better Photography magazine online edition along with another picture that I clicked in Bijapur though I think it is renamed to Vijaypur
I visited Jaipur and surrounding areas again in December with Arun Bhat. And what a visit it was and we discovered Rajasthan like never before from a village for Elephants to salt making at Sambhar lake. Watch desi Traveler in 2015 for more on these.
In between in November it was time to visit Amazing Thailand on invitation of Tat New Delhi and while I have written a few posts on my visit to Thailand most of them will appear in the coming year. But there is so much we can learn about hospitality and tourism promotion from Thailand.
Some time between Jaipur and Thailand I also visited the princely state of Bharatpur for a bird watching trip to Keoladeo National Park with Tarun Gaur of My Greedy Backpack. Last trip of 2014 was to to Fort Cochin and I walked and clicked pictures in the Fort Cochin area and Jew Town.
The visit was sponsored by Nissan India on winning a blogging competition about safe driving. Once I came back I had the oppurtunity to meet Canadian travel blogger and Indophile, Mariellen Ward , once again with Tarun and we walked the inner circle of Connaught Place, clicked the largest national flag of India and chatted about blogging, travel and had some wonderful thali at Rajdhani followed by some tea at Cha Bar.
With this I come to end of my last blog post of 2014, one of the best years of my blogging and photography journey when I got printed in Wow Hyderabad, Deccan Chronicle, Indian Express, Travel + Leisure, Dainik Jagaran and in a book by Kerala Tourism that has articles and pictures clicked by Kerala Blog Express Bloggers. While I have written many posts about Kerala, my post about ” What to shop in Kerala“ got printed in the book by Kerala Tourism, my two cents for the Kerala Economy 🙂
As I type this post I am getting confirmation from the winners of desi Calender 2015 contest about receipt of their calenders, and it seems they like it. Some folks have emailed or messaged me to know how they can get a copy of the calender. Guess what they may have to wait for desi Calender 2016 contest 🙂
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